“She’s gonna pay!”

Have you ever been THAT kind of mad at a sister/brother in Christ?  I have!

You could have caught me ‘speechless’ the other night, after reading John Piper’s daily reflection on my iphone app called “Piper Devotional” (excerpted from his book Future Grace).

What stopped me in my tracks and made me reconsider the times when I’ve been mad at others was reading Piper’s thoughts on Romans 8:1

There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

What that means is that when someone else in the Church hurts me and they rightly deserve to pay for that offense, the payment has already been made – in the past – on the cross by none other than Jesus.   It HAS to be that way for them NOT to be condemned by God.  The other alternative would be for God to say, “Susie has hurt you?  Just forgive her – ‘cause she’s your sister-in- Christ.  Period!”

That, actually, would NOT be fair!  And God is the God of justice, or else he is NOT God!  Someone WILL pay or HAS paid or DOES pay.  One of the privileges of being in the King of the Universe’s family is having Big Brother Jesus cover our deliberate AND inadvertent mean or thoughtless words/ actions toward one another.  How?- in his flesh, on the cross.

When I want to make Christian sister Susie pay, I’m actually saying that I want Jesus to suffer STILL MORE for the harm done me.

Reading Piper’s piece, I actually pictured Jesus softly saying, “That’s okay, Maria, I can take it.  If that brother-in-Christ needs to pay for what he did to you, then I’ll pay for him.  Lay his iniquity on me.  I’m here to suffer the rightful punishment for what he did to you!”

In my scenario, I found myself saying almost with tears:

‘No, Lord, I don’t want You to suffer any more; I will let my brother go, I won’t hold IT against him anymore.”

Talk about injustice!  If my twisted desire, to see him or her PAY, means Jesus has to suffer more, then I don’t want that, especially not just to make me feel better.

Now THAT’s a sure, quick way to drain off self-righteous anger!

So what am I saying?  That they should get off, just because they are Christian?

–      Well, you and I have ‘gotten off’, haven’t we?

–      Are we aware of all the ways we have hurt someone else, another family member of God?

–      And what about all the many ways we have ignored God or rebelled against Him?

Jesus HAS paid it all.  And it did cost Him.

I HOPE that the next time I start to feed some righteous indignation due to wounds from a fellow member of the household of Christ that I can PICTURE Jesus asking me, “How much do you want them to squirm…however much you think they deserve, I’m ready, in their place. Your call, Maria!”